Thoughts and Answers to Some of the Comments on this page

There’s been some questions and thoughts on the comments of this blog (which I love, love, love!)  and since I have nothing particular to share I thought I would elaborate and what not.

  • First off, why Jana Bieger has a limited chance on making the Olympic Team.  The wide consensus among gymnastics fans and experts is that Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, and Alicia Sacramone are locks for the Olympic Team.  Since the main priority is the Team Final where 3 up 3 count, the selection will cater to those 12 routines needed.  Among the first half of the squad we have:

Vault- Sacramone, Jonhson, GAP

Bars- Liukin, GAP, GAP

Beam- Johnson, Liukin, Sacramone

Floor- Jonhson, Sacramone, GAP

For the 3 remaining spots on the team, we need to fill 2 gaps on bars, and one gap apiece on vault and floor.  So our weakest showing is coming on uneven bars, which unfortunately is not good since that is China’s strongest event and they will gain at least a point on us based off their difficulty in comparison to the US.

The best solution is to put on power event gymnast, a floor and vault worker, for one spot, and fill the two remaining gaps with two bar workers.  Samantha Peszek is the best choice for spot #4 in my opinion, because she is the 3rd best on vault and now holds the highest difficulty (along with Johnson) on floor.  As another person pointed out, Peszek has had some consistency issues, but I would say Nationals/Trials will pretty much let us know.

Bieger simply does not fill any of these spots.  She is a great vaulter, but not difficult enough.  Same with floor, if she had her 2006 form back I would say she has a better shot.  Her bars difficulty is not enough either.  I do think that she is a good choice as an alternate.  I would put Chellsie Memmel in the same boat if it weren’t for the fact that she just showed a 6.9 and 16.0 scoring routine on bars.

With regards to Chelsea Davis, Darling Hill, and Mattie Larson, I would say the same thing.  Larson has a 6.0 on floor, Hill a 6.1 (I am basing these off the most recent Friendly Meet) and we have 6.2’s and higher from more experienced athletes.  Hill stil has only a yurchenko 1.5 which we need doubles at bare minimum.  For bars, we really need nothing less than a 6.7 and realistically 7.0+ is what we REALLY need.  None of these athletes can match this.  (Or can they?  Does anyone know?)  But there is also the experience factor, experienced  athletes that prove themselves have a bigger shot, though that does not have anywhere near as much pull in the decisions as the difficulty/consistency factor in my opnion.  Regardless of anything though, gymnasts may add more difficulty by Nationals.  High difficulty performed consistently throughout June is going to be what matters.

  • The selection procedures allow for more than just the top 12 from Nationals to advance to trials.  Sacarmone will have no problem proceeding to trials.  Remember in 2004, Chellsie Memmel and Hollie Vise only did two events in Trials, and neither competed at Nationals and petitioned their way in.
  • In regards to the Nastia winning the AA.  So many thoughts.  But here is where I am coming from.  I like gymnastics that are “wow” skills.  I like huge tricks performed cleanly.  Whereas Nastia’s bar routine is loaded, even her beam routine I think isn’t so much.  She has no “F” or “G” skill anywhere in her routines.  She mostly loads with “D”‘s.  “D”s are the very middle skill.  Not one of the easiest, not one of the hardest.  But good respectable skills.  (and of course, the triple off beam will add in an “F”)  This is why I like He Kexin, she does amazing releases that nearly no one does.  But she does do some pirouettes.  (Li Ya had an amazing combination of both)  Mo Huilan and Kim Gwang-Suk type routines were what really would thrill me, stuff no one tends to do.  This is why I respect Johnson so much.  Her bar routine isn’t the best, but even there she is capable of something NO ONE else can perform consistently in their repertoire.

With regards to the twisting only elements on floor, it is not that I don’t like twisting combinations, but again, I think to be really good at an event you should show variety.  Nastia does not hold enough variety for me to think she is great at that event.

In regards to the old code, you could get away with scoring too high much easier.  Let’s first establish that regardless of the code, gymnasts with the reputation so very often get the benefit of the doubt.  This applies to a lot of gymnasts.  In the old code you could also get away with only twisting elements on floor.  I realize Nastia had won numerous competitions, but in 2005 Nationals remember her floor on one day was overscored because she was given difficulty not in her routine.  The only competitions I can think of her winning under the new code, were SCAM 08′ and Nationals 06′, which caused a lot of debate because many thought Natasha Kelley should have won.

I am not saying anyone is right or wrong, I just wanted to explain where I was coming from.  I like Nastia, I just don’t think she is the best at the All-Around.  Top Ten, but not top three.  And yes, I do agree, Nastia is better at floor than Sacramone and Cheng Fei appear to be on bars.

  • Lastly, Lilia Podkopayeva was the last triple crown winner: 1995 Worlds, 1996 European and Olympic Champion.  I did think at one time that Shawn would be that if she won in Beijing, (counting 07′ Worlds and Pan Am’s) but when I think about it the Pan Am’s can’t hold a candle to the Europeans 🙂    

I wrote this in a few sections and ran away from the computer a LOT.  So if there are mad grammatical errors or totally incomplete thoughts I apologize.  I don’t have time really to blog, but I really wanted to write a new post.

Thank you everyone for all your comments and opinions.  It’s so nice to hear it all and know it’s all out there.  I think we should make a huge petition to send to NBC that we want more gymnastics coverage, and if you broadcast Beijing even close to the way you did Sydney…a lot of angry gym fans are going to come storm NBC Studios!  🙂



Filed under Uncategorized

19 responses to “Thoughts and Answers to Some of the Comments on this page

  1. Brooke

    Another great post on here! I totally agree with your thoughts on Jana. I like Jana, but with the 3 up 3 count system, I just don’t see where she is needed. If I had to pick a team today, before Nats and Trials, I would be going with Shawn, Nast, Sac, Sam, Ashley, and Chellsie- with Bridget and Ivana as alternates. I had originally thought Shayla was a lock, but bless her heart, she is jsut a banged up broken mess now I think. And you know darn well that Jeff is still killing her in the gym now that Bridget, Chellsie, and Ash have shown up to camp with upgraded bars. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- I think Shayla might very well be the Hollie Vise of this quad. Looked like a lock, and then injury left her off the team totally.

    BB- Nast, Shawn, Sac are clearly our best bets. If one is injured, we can put up Chellsie or Sam.
    UB- Nast, Ashley, Chellsie. All have experience, and if god help us, one is injured, Bridget could probably fill the gap.
    FX- Shawn, Sac, Sam are up in my opinion. An injury there and Chellsie or Bridget could probably do in a pinch.
    VT- Sam, Shawn, Sac. An injury there- well, it’s going to suck. Jana, Ash, and Chellsie don’t seem to have the difficulty- but maybe one of them will throw a DTY at Trials. Ivana seems to have a pretty sweet, clean DTY, so maybe her?

    Sorry this is so long 🙂

  2. audgator

    Brooke- Sooooooo true. And very accurate I totally agree. I really hope they (NBC) show more Bridget the next two comps. I haven’t seen a lot of her. She is real clean, I would like to see her new stuff.

  3. MRR

    Very nice post and thank you for your compliment of my Chellsie Memmel post! In my opinion, Shawn, Nastia, Alicia, and Sam have their spots sewn up. Sam needs to prove consistency at Nats/Oly Trials, and if she does she is on the team for sure. Chellsie’s new and improved UB work should continue to hold true and get her on the team. Shayla and Ashley, IMO, will be battling for the last spot. I would give it to Shayla, just because she can potentially contribute more than just bars, but this is assuming that she is healthy and there have been SEVERAL reports that she is injured.

  4. GymFan

    Sam is a mess on floor. She has no time in recent memory had a good floor routine. She is always messing up on her landings and being deducted for it.

    IMO she should not be on the team unless she starts hitting. Even her beam is hit or miss. Her vault is nice but it doesn’t score much better then Nastia’s 1.5

    Her beam at scam cup with great but she fell at her next meet. She isn’t reliable.

    Memmel just needs to keep improving. Bad form and all she is such a rock. I can’t see her not being on this team.

    IMO it was not worth it for her to keep competing in 06 because it took her out for over a year. Who knows what she would have up graded by now if she had not hurt herself saving the US team.

    I totally agree with you about Nastia. She is a two event gymnast. Her vault lacks power but she usually doesn’t fall on it and her floor is a mess. Her bars are trumped by a high A score. Her form is pretty bad on bars also. She has so many leg separations on her giants and cast to handstands to put it frank her bars are overrated.

  5. bettycoltrane

    I fully agree with Gymfan on every point, though I had no idea Sam’s scores were so bad, and even after a brief youtube consult it seemed to me that her floor was *fairly* decent. Her landings seem better than Shayla’s, and Nastia’s?

    I’d add that not only are Nastia’s bars overrated, everything about her except her remarkable and very lucky pedigree is overrated, and audgator’s observation about her routines full of D skills and utterly lacking any F or G skills hits that home for me. I don’t think she’s had any ambitions of getting such a skill since 2005. Her bars set contains only the most pedestrian releases and she separates her legs at every opportunity that the judges can’t see from their viewing angle. Put all that together and how is that not the epitome of a code whore?

    Not to mention she can’t do any kind of double salto in any circumstances without atrociously cowboyed legs. Her highly praised “dance” is just an incessant string of vogue-ish poses set to pretentious music. It’s an athletic competition, not a goddamn photo-shoot. Objectively she doesn’t deserve the top 3 in beam (unless she’s the only one who stays on, as was the case recently), the top 2 in bars, or even a shot at the all-around. But Bart & Co. seem to be pathologically obsessed with her, and it filters down to people who can’t judge for themselves.

  6. bettycoltrane

    Also, wrt to Euros v. Pan-Ams; I don’t think Pan-Am 1996 could have held a candle to Euros 96, but I think Pan-Ams 07 could definitely compete with Euros 08, no?

  7. bettycoltrane

    Another also, to Brooke: With all due respect to Shayla, she’s isn’t comparable to Hollie Vise if she gets let off the team. The most obvious point is that Hollie was champion in Bars at Worlds the year before. Shayla has relative strength but she doesn’t quite stand out on any event the way Hollie did. As you can probably tell, I still miss Hollie 😦

  8. Brooke

    I agree that Shayla is not the bar worker that Hollie was, but as far as the US has been concerned on bars, other than Nastia, she was pretty much all we had with Chellsie and Ashley injured. I guess I meant it more along the lines of in 2007 she looked like a total lock due to her bar capabilities alone (and the fact that Martha loves her), and now she may be totally off the radar come selection. It’s also kinda weird that back injures did Hollie in in the end, and may also do the same for Shayla.

  9. xmaestro

    If I hear one commentator say this “she opened the door right there” I’m going to scream.

  10. sidney

    hi shawn jonhson!! i think you are the best gymnast inthe world.
    i gust moved up the level 5. your asome!!!!!!!!! do you think you
    can e-mail me back? if you can that will be asome!!

    love sidney

  11. sidney

    hi shawn how are you? if you can e-mail me back at

    love sidney

  12. lino102

    I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!I love you!!sooooooooooooo is the best.thank you!! KISSES KISSES.

  13. emir lepenica BiH

    HI SHAWN MY NAMES EMIR LEPENICA bosnia and herzegovina city sarajevo do you think you can e-mail adress me back answer my adress hi

  14. emir lepenica BiH

    Emir Lepenica i Shawn Johnson slucajno se susreli ali medjutim emir je nju prerpoznao…da vam sada ne otkrivamo svasta procitajte na ovoj web stranici

  15. I’ve just been sitting around waiting for something to happen.,


  17. I love the great insight!,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s